[about the author]
i actually like speaking in front of large crowds. freakish,
i work crossword puzzles in ink.
i am the american nigella lawson. or maybe the american eddie
izzard. can't decide, really.
i would be a really good mom, but i'm cool with being a really
i am sometimes more perceptive than i would like to be.
i am fiercely loyal. sometimes, stupidly so.
i never play dumb. never.
i am way too hard on myself.
i am a change agent.
i sometimes cross that fine line between assertive and aggressive.
i am not afraid to tell people that i love them.
i am militantly pro-choice.
i am pro-adoption.
i know a little bit about alot of things.
i typically enjoy the company of men more than women.
i am capable of being really mean and nasty, but i fight it.
i am a lifelong cubs fan. do not laugh.
i have been known to hold a grudge.
i have hips.
i am not my sister.
i am lousy at forgiving myself.
i am an indoor kind of gal.
i am a bargain shopper. to the point of obsession.
i am 32 flavors. and then some.
all those in favor, say huh
my first political science class was my senior year in high school. it was one of those elective classes that most people just put on their schedule as a way to fill up their day without having to do math. i was, of course, the exception. i already knew that i would be a poli sci major in college [those in the know refer to it as poli sci. even though it makes us sound really gross.], and was eager to get an early jump on things.
my class was filled with the most colorful mix of characters i ever had the privilege to sit with during my years in public education. there was no rhyme. no reason. just a bunch of random kids with no interest in the subject at hand, looking to lay low and not fail this class that the guidance counselor put them in because our guidance counselor didn’t give a rat’s ass what you did as long as you didn’t interrupt her “stories,” which she watched on a black-and-white mini television in her office.
as a creative mid-term [oh, mrs. moore, you made such a valiant effort!], we held a mock legislative session. each “delegate” had to draft and introduce a bill that was then debated and voted upon.
i remember the hours of research i did. the careful crafting of the language to as to allow all the obligatory loopholes. the thickets of legalese strategically placed throughout in an effort to hide my proposal’s obvious benefits for my particular constituency. ah…it was a masterful effort.
m always sat in the very back of the room. the last chair, in the last row, closest to the windows. i say “always.” “always,” of course, means when he actually came to class. which wasn’t that often. m didn’t seem to come to many classes, period. to paraphrase a line from one of my favorite movies of all time, m had released himself on his own recognizance, feeling that the institution no longer had anything to offer him.
on those rare occasions when he did come to class, he was pretty doggone high. i remember one day when m sauntered into class and slouched into his “regular” seat. we were discussing the electoral college.
“man, that’s retarded,” came his comment from the back of the room.
while i don’t actually disagree with his position, mrs. moore didn’t really seem to know how to follow up on his observation.
at any rate, someone must have made it clear to m that he needed to not fail this class in order to get out of high school. so, he showed up on the last day of the mid-term.
as he loped into the classroom, the before-class chatter stopped. we had all just assumed…i mean…did he even know about the mid-term?
what would mrs. moore say?
truth is, mrs. moore wouldn’t say much. see, in addition to being a "friend of elmo", m was a total charmer. he had a halo of golden hair. breathtaking blue eyes. dimples that were so deep and perfectly placed that he looked like something out of a magazine. and don’t even get me started on the smile itself. he was tall and lean, a vision in denim, and stoned off his ass.
in his hand there were no books. no paper. only one thing: a huge bag of dum-dum suckers.
the plan seemed obvious to us: he would glad-hand and schmooze and bribe us into rallying around him via the dum-dums.
however, our supposition did not take into account the munchie factor.
he was a machine.
as the class wore on, he devoured the suckers. one after the other after the other. root beer. sour apple. cream soda. grape.
eventually, everyone had presented their bill. except m.
mrs. moore cleared her throat nervously at the front of the room.
“uh, m, it seems to be your turn. would you like to present your bill now?”
“nah, go ahead.”
“well, everyone else has already gone.”
“and, so, then, i have to go, right?”
as he rose to his feet, a dum-dum wrapper fell from his desk and landed on the floor in front of him.
“go ahead, m.”
the rest of us had read from note cards and typed summaries. we had hand-outs. some even had visual aids.
m had none of those things.
he reached up and took the dum-dum from his mouth.
“my bill is to make all unknown people known.”
and he put the sucker back in his mouth and sat down.
mrs. moore looked around the room nervously.
“uh, m…that seems a little…odd? well, maybe not odd…maybe vague is a better word?”
“okay…that’s cool…okay…sure...my bill is to make all unknown people known for a day.”
floor debate was waived. committee review was waived. the bill was put to an immediate vote. and passed unanimously.
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